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di·​a·​gram ˈdī-ə-ˌgram How to pronounce diagram (audio)
: a graphic design that explains rather than represents
especially : a drawing that shows arrangement and relations (as of parts)
: a line drawing made for mathematical or scientific purposes
diagrammable adjective
diagrammatic adjective
or less commonly diagrammatical
diagrammatically adverb


2 of 2


diagrammed or diagramed ˈdī-ə-ˌgramd How to pronounce diagram (audio) ; diagramming or diagraming ˈdī-ə-ˌgra-miŋ How to pronounce diagram (audio)

transitive verb

: to represent by or put into the form of a diagram
diagram a sentence
diagram a football play

Example Sentences

Noun a diagram of the nervous system This diagram shows how the clock operates. Verb The coach diagrammed the new play on the blackboard. The students were required to diagram a sentence.
Recent Examples on the Web
Hosts will be required to show a diagram with all exit routes in the unit and display the registration certificate, submit proof that the host is a permanent occupant and list the number of unrelated permanent occupants in the residence. Raeedah Wahid, Fortune, 3 Mar. 2023 Visual collaboration allows individuals to quickly portray their ideas and thoughts as a diagram and connect with others to collectively reach quality outcomes. Bryan Stallings, Quartz, 19 Jan. 2023 One is a map of the population distribution of enslaved Africans in Georgia in 1861 and a diagram documenting the history of slavery in the United States. Lonnie G. Bunch Iii, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Jan. 2023 Furthermore, scientists say the test outlined in the post’s diagram is not at a large enough scale to show the Earth’s curve. Isabella Fertel, USA TODAY, 7 Dec. 2022 But each of those can be equated to a related diagram with one loop fewer. Byadrian Cho, science.org, 30 Nov. 2022 The diagram looks not unlike an extended version of Rhode Island’s Wave license plate. Brian Amaral, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Feb. 2023 Here is a diagram showing the forces with a centripetal acceleration. WIRED, 25 Sep. 2022 Meanwhile, electrodes were recording neural activity in a number of brain areas: here's Schmidt et al's cartoon diagram of the relevant circuitry. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 3 Aug. 2013
Humans seem to be hardwired for justice, but we’re also saddled with a curious compulsion to diagram our own emotional wiring. Lindsay Gray, Scientific American, 18 Nov. 2020 Another reason: Down five with 45.2 seconds left, after a timeout to diagram an inbounds play, the Aztecs couldn’t find anyone open and were assessed a five-second violation. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Dec. 2022 When working to optimize customer interactions and increase conversions, customer journey maps can diagram how customers experience a product or service. Scott Williams, Forbes, 7 July 2022 This meant that production sound mixer David Wyman had to diagram a number of different communication techniques to record the dialogue and allow the actors to hear any off-camera lines no matter where they were performed on set. Daron James, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2021 Better than that, the coaches have the ability to place an inset on the screen diagramming plays Deer Park will want to employ next season. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, 16 Apr. 2020 His stiff-necked sense of authenticity and his self-confidence in his salesman’s ability to close the deal make his every burst of oratory a daunting challenge to those who diagram sentences. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2020 Drawings at the time, produced as part of the city’s environmental review process, diagramed the heart of the Western Yard as a greensward with a lawn passing beneath the High Line and spilling to 12th Avenue at West 30th Street. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, 10 Jan. 2020 Even after squandering a 15-point lead and allowing the Pistons to surge in front Tuesday night, the brief review allowed the Cavs to diagram a play. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 8 Jan. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diagram.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Greek diagramma, from diagraphein to mark out by lines, from dia- + graphein to write — more at carve

First Known Use


1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diagram was in 1619

Dictionary Entries Near diagram

Cite this Entry

“Diagram.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diagram. Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
di·​a·​gram ˈdī-ə-ˌgram How to pronounce diagram (audio)
: a drawing, sketch, plan, or chart that makes something clearer or easier to understand
diagrammatic adjective
also diagrammatical
diagrammatically adverb


2 of 2 verb
diagrammed or diagramed
; diagramming or diagraming
: to represent by or put into the form of a diagram
diagram a sentence
diagrammed a football play

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